CV Joint Noise When Driving Straight (Causes and Fixing Way)
Are you looking for the causes of CV joint noise when driving straight? In most front-wheel-drive cars, two constant velocity joints are attached to the drive shaft. The main purpose of the CV joint is to connect the car transmission of the wheels. Usually, the joint works on a suspension system that allows a comfortable drive.
A clicking sound is the indication of a bad CV joint. If the joint is faulty, you will hear a sound while accelerating and turning. Generally, a CV axle is a mechanical component sealed with a rubber or plastic boot that doesn’t require maintenance. However, sometimes the boot gets damaged, and protective greases inside the CV boot leak, causing the CV joint to break.
In this article, I will guide you on CV joint noise when driving straight and fix this problem. Before starting, let’s discuss what causes the axle to get damaged.
Normally, CV Axles are also known as side shafts. The constant velocity joint is attached to the inner side drive shifts of transmission, and the outer side is attached to the wheel. Moreover, rotation of the constant velocity joint gives power to the front wheel, and drive becomes comfortable and smooth.
Sometimes bad CV joint sound can be heard when the car is driving straight or taking turns. The reason behind these faulty joints. Let’s discuss the causes of the joint clicking in detail.
1. Defective CV boots
Generally, the noise is because of damaged CV boots. CV joints are seal inside boots. When boots are damaged or torn, the lubricant inside the boot leaks, and dirt starts to build upon the joint. This causes the joints to wear out. Moreover, the lack of lubrication affects the performance of the joint.
Sometimes you can easily notice lubricant coming out of the crack. You will notice lubricant on the interior rim of the wheel. This leakage is dangerous because lubricant can enter different parts of the car and cause damage. Moreover, CV axle noise increase when the car is accelerating or taking sharp turns. Mechanics think that a broken boot can cause complete damage to the joint. Thus require replacement or repair.
2. Damaged Boot clamps
Usually, CV boots are held in place by two boot clamps. CV Boot clamps make sure that CV joints are seal and there is no exposure. However, sometimes clamps are damaged or loosen. This allows dirt and debris to accumulate on the joint.
Moreover, debris causes an inner joint to collapse and lead to clicking or squeaky noise while driving. Whenever you hear this type of noise, checks the boot area, and you will find a damaged clamp.
3. Wear and tear
Generally, CV joints are durable and require minimal maintenance. However, axles with time produce steering noise. When joints with time need replacement, they produce clicking noise. This is perfectly normal when mechanical components wore out and require replacement or repair they make different noises.
4. Grease loss
Sometimes when you drive the car at high speed, you will hear noise and it will increase with acceleration. It is because the loss of lubrication increase friction that doesn’t allow the axle to move freely. So, when the axle rotates or turns, you will hear noises.
Most mechanics consider damaged or crack CV boots as the starting point of joint failure. However, sometimes crack is larger than you think it will cause lubricant loss, and the joint will wear out more easily. Sometimes driver ignores the broken CV axle noises. These sounds are clicking or popping sounds that can are easily heard while turning or accelerating. Clicking noise when driving is a hazardous situation and in extreme cases, the joint can break while driving. Generally, the outer joint faces damage. However, in some rarer cases, the inner CV joint noise is heard and vibrates with speed. Acceleration and deceleration produce clucking sounds, especially when shifting. It is the indication of inner joint failure.
Suppose you notice symptoms of damaged CV joint. It’s better to consultant professional mechanics. Usually, joint replacement is cheaper than repair. Replacement costs is from $180 to $350. It depends upon the car model. Generally, the Joint comes in a kit it includes new clamps, freshly lubricated boots, and joints. In some cases, you have to replace the whole shaft. This happens when the CV joint doesn’t come separately.
A CV boot repair or replacement requires special tools like a torque wrench, axle nut, and right-sized socket. Without these special tools, it is difficult to open the shaft. An axle nut is an important tool; without this tool the shaft cannot be re-torqued. If you don’t have these tools, consult a mechanic. Let discuss the step of replacement in detail.
Step 1: jack up the car
When jack up the car, you will notice worn-out CV joints, and the boot is wrapped with grease. In this particular case, we are going to change the entire shaft.
Step 2: take off the tire
Take off bolts and sockets of the tire. Now take axle nut and giant pipe. Fix the nut on the tire and the put the giant pipe on the nut and pull. You need to push it with force and it will come off. Now take off the tire.
Step 3: take off CV joint axle
After removing the tire using a cheater bar socket and remove the nuts. Use hammer in case bolts don’t come off. After that remove the axle shaft while holding the assembly.
Step 4: Install new driveshaft
Remove the bearing on the driveshaft before installing the new assembly. Now use clippers or giant needle nose pliers to pull off the old assemble out. Slide back the new assemble and clip back. Now put the shaft back to the axle assemble. Now put the bolts back. Use a cotter pin to bend the bolts, and they will not get lost. Put back the tire.
1. What does a bad CV joint sound like while driving?
The bad CV joint produces clicking, clucking, and popping sounds. Moreover, the car Vibrates when driving, and in some cases, there are grease leaks on the car rim.
2. Can you drive with a noisy CV joint?
Yes, you can drive with a bad CV joint. Mechanics believe it’s safe to drive a car with a noisy joint for 4-5 months. If you face problems like lubricant leak. It is better to replace or repair a faulty joint as soon as possible.
3. How much does it cost to fix a CV joint?
The cost of a CV joint is between $95 and $210. If you need a professional mechanic to perform a replacement, it will cost up to $165 to $800. Moreover, the price depends on double or single axle replacement.
4. How hard is it to replace a CV axle?
CV axle replacement at home is a simple process. However, you should know mechanical tools like jacks, nuts, axles, pliers, and other power tools. If you have know-how about professional tools CV axle replacement becomes quite reasonable.
Are you wondering what causes CV joint noise when driving straight? The answer is damaged boot, lubricant loss, and broken clamps. The solution to this problem is a replacement of CV joint. Moreover, this process requires 4-5 hours in the mechanic workshop.